I often use ctrl+alt+I and windows magnifier to invert the colors of my screen, to make bright windows easier to read.

The problem is that, eg, some windows are naturally dark and some are naturally light, and so I find myself often toggling the inversion as I switch between windows. I would like to be able to apply preferences on a per-window basis: eg, my email client is white-based and I would like to keep it always inverted.

Is there a way to accomplish this?


My workaround is to transform standard contrast of the entire screen into lower one. This way, window with inverted colors becomes more bearable.

  1. get NegativeScreen open source freeware

  2. open configuration file

  3. using copy-paste, add the following matrices:

# Based on Smart Inversion
Low Contrast si1=win+shift+alt+F5
{  0.3333333, -0.6666667, -0.6666667,  0.0000000,  0.0000000 }
{ -0.6666667,  0.3333333, -0.6666667,  0.0000000,  0.0000000 }
{ -0.6666667, -0.6666667,  0.3333333,  0.0000000,  0.0000000 }
{  0.0000000,  0.0000000,  0.0000000,  1.0000000,  0.0000000 }
{  1.2000000,  1.2000000,  1.2000000,  0.0000000,  1.0000000 }

# Based on Smart Inversion Alt 1: High saturation, good pure colors.
Low Contrast si2 (×*60% +30%)=win+shift+alt+F6
{  0.6, -0.6, -0.6,  0.0,  0.0 }
{ -0.6,  0.6, -0.6,  0.0,  0.0 }
{ -0.6, -0.6,  0.6,  0.0,  0.0 }
{  0.0,  0.0,  0.0,  1.0,  0.0 }
{  0.9,  0.9,  0.9,  0.0,  1.0 }
  1. you can play with them until brightness and sharpness adjustment fits your needs.
    UPDATE 2016-10-20: Now you can create and edit matrices interactively using ColorMatrix Viewer tool.

Based on what you actually need, this could help you, because these adjustments can go beyond color adjustments reachable on standard LCD panels.

FYI the NegativeScreen tool is using your favorite magnifier functionality, but it can supply it with more color transformations than default simple inversion.

If eyesight is your main reason for asking this, you can also search for some decent e-ink display solution or check how to reduce blue light which in my case helped me more than e-ink display. Blue light and flicker of LCD backlight are behind several types of eye problems.

  • 1
    but this is not for a specific window, but for all windows (i.e. the whole screen)? – dval Oct 20 '16 at 2:56
  • @pipo17171 – As per NegativeScreen, there is currently no way to apply it only over the spefic window ← confirmed by its author. I added this answer because the question says: "...to make bright windows easier to read." I illustrated alternative way to achieve this goal. Another way is to get older version of NegScr (as far as I remember, up to v.1.3) which inverts only one monitor. This way you can put dark apps on one monitor, light on the other one and then revert the latter. Still a workaround, but I'd like to resolve mainly the above "reading problem", not primarily app inversion problem. – miroxlav Oct 20 '16 at 12:46
  • Post contains dead links. – tahwos Oct 13 '19 at 18:21
  • @miroxlav sure thing, hate to see a good answer suffer from link rot ;-) – tahwos Oct 15 '19 at 0:39

From https://github.com/mlaily/NegativeScreen/issues/2: some .exe from the NegativeScreen's author to invert just a single monitor (not as precise as the one window, but better than the default NegativeScreen that inverts all monitors):

Thanks for your feedback everyone. Still no progress on this feature request, but I'd like to mention I released an unofficial version a (long) while ago that got lost in the comments of my website.

It's based on the old v1, and handles multiple monitors with the ability to choose to enable monitors separately.

It's a bit crude, but probably still usable: https://0.x2a.yt/other/private/NegativeScreen-custom-multi-monitor.exe (mirror)

To select which monitor to invert colors, click on enter image description here in the notification area of the Microsoft Windows taskbar.

enter image description here

Tested on Windows 7 SP1 x64 Ultimate with 3 monitors, 1 of which using DisplayLink.

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